Pierogi, Mushrooms, Party, Harvest & Two Feet of Snow about sums up October

It's pierogi time! Earlier this October I spent a rainy afternoon making my grandmom's pierogi recipe in hopes that I could make enough for a party I was hosting to celebrate Polish and Hungarian culture. 6 hours later I made enough to have a small feast with some friends at home but not enough for the 70 or so folks who would show up at my party. Thank god for Millies Pierogi in Chicopee. She provided me with enough of this Polish delicacy for all my friends and I didn't have to spend 24 hours in the kitchen!

It's been a busy and crazy month. Some of you may be able to tell with the lack of time for blogging and posting. I've missed spending time here. So I thought I'd end this month by summing up the time with photographs that I meant to use in individual posts. Better late then never, right?

October was a warm and wet month up until very recently which made for excellent mushroom conditions. I started eating wild mushrooms for the first time after some talks with my neighbor who is a wild mushroom forager and some personal research. Wild mushrooms are so amazing and flavorful. Look at these Shaggy Mains that were sprouting up all over our yard. They are edible in their earlier stage before they start looking like this black, inky, dripping mess.

Heather, my employer in the gardens, found this Puffball Mushroom in our client's yard. We took it home to slice up, fry and eat. It probably weighed five pounds and was the size of a soccer ball!

While mushrooms were sprouting up all over I spent a lot of non work time getting ready for my Polish and Hungarian Quest party. I wanted to share a presentation including photographs, foods, books and music inspired by my time overseas this summer. I learned how to make a power point presentation and whittled over 1300 photos into a 133 slide show with some music and video. My local community and friends showed up to celebrated with me last Sunday.  My neighbor Tom who was born in Poland in Korczyna (the village where my grandmother was born!) brought his family along including his girls dressed up in their Polish outfits. He brought so much to share as well which made the party even more fun for me.

 The potluck turned into a 5-star eastern European inspired feast.
 Friends enjoyed tables with books, art and inspiration made and collected this past season.
My presentation was projected in a nice room so everyone could see some of the lovely people, places and things that inspired me so deeply this summer. The party was such a highlight for me this month. It took a lot of my free time to prepare for it but to share an experience that was so meaningful with others made me incredibly happy and even seemed to inspire some of my friends.

October is winding down. It's the day before Halloween. Last night I had planned to go to my communities Rag Shag event to see the kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes. Instead it decided to snow. Alot. Over two feet. Before the flurries started to fly yesterday I spent part of the day harvesting the rest of my summer crop in the garden. I brought in leeks, potatoes, carrots and beets. They were harvested in the nick of time. While the snow came down Josh and I cranked up the music and cooked some good food. We made more of our tomatillo salsa with the last of or tomatillos for the year. For dinner, homemade french fries, steak and roasted root vegetables dressed with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.

Beautiful morning photographs of this unprecedented snow. Snow with my sunflower...snow as a hat for the coneflower seed heads...snow against a blue sky and yellow orange beech trees.

Snow on my Halloween pumpkin. Happy October and Happy Halloween! Now I'm looking forward to the quiet time and darker days filled with dreaming and creating. The harvest is over and winter like dream time is upon us.